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RCGA 03-15-2013 09:34 AM

Hardwood vs. Vinyl for small-ish kitchen

Really struggling with kitchen floor options. I just bought a house and it had a tile floor which was a nightmare to take up. Itís a cheap-ish option, but Iím worried out installing it (DIY job), cracks and leaks.

My kitchen is approx. 13x16, but shaped in an L, so I the actual square footage is smaller (approx. 178sqft)

If I went with a vinyl sheet, Iíd have to buy more than necessary, and/or deal with several seams Ė something I donít want. But itís resistant to spills and very easy to clean.

With hardwood, I only have to buy whatís necessary. If I donít place the hardwood under the cabinets, Iíll only have to buy enough to cover approx. 140 sqft. This actually comes out to be much cheaper than a good quality vinyl sheet. My biggest concern with hardwood is water. Thereís just two of us living here (no kids), so spills arenít a huge risk, but leaks are still something I am worried about.

Am I correct in my thought process? If you were me, what would you do?

hyunelan2 03-15-2013 11:23 AM

I wouldn't put hardwood in the kitchen. If you want that look, engineered flooring or laminate is a better way to go. It's a kitchen, the floor will get wet, wood doesn't like to get wet. I have 3/4" oak in my kitchen and wish it weren't there. Typically, you don't place the flooring under the cabinets, but sometimes it happens.

There are plenty of other options than just tile, wood, or sheet vinyl. Vinyl planks, vinyl tiles, for example.

UniqueWoodFloor 03-15-2013 02:43 PM


Our specialty is prefinished hardwood flooring. This is one of the most common concerns from clients who stop in at our showroom. If you look at many homes build today it is very common to have solid hardwood installed in their kitchen underneath cabinets. It may sound like you are saving a lot of square footage when not installed under the cabinet and island, but when you account for the additional cutting waste and having to build up plywood underneath the cabinets to match height the cost difference is very minimal.

For a remodeling project I would still recommend wood floors for your kitchen, however depending on the circumstances you may not be able to install it underneath the cabinetry. Number one reason your cabinet installer may not want the flooring installed underneath is because they are worried about leveling issues when both projects are not planned together. The flooring needs to be flat but not necessarily leveled.

Wood flooring finish technology has improved quite a bit and will hold up well in kitchen use. Dish washer floods can and will still be an issue, but this is often the case with other floor coverings as well due to mold. With normal wear and tear, wood flooring actually has several advantages such as being able to be refinished and restored to new where as vinyl or laminate will need to be trashed when scratched or scuffed. The beauty and warmth of of real wood is unmatched with unique grain patterns in each plank. This also increases resale value of your home more than other floor coverings.

I hope this will give you some insight into wood vs vinyl. Please do not be swayed away from the beauty of real wood just because of the fear of leaks. There are options for board replacement, and often times unforeseen leaks will be covered in your insurance policy no matter which floor covering you use.

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